Just one song
I have been listening to just one song for the past two weeks. Sung by the same artist – Someone To Watch Over Me sung by the great Ella Fitzgerald. I haven’t got bored with the song in fact my interest is intensifying. I’m trying to remember why I chose to obsess with this song.
As a jazz trumpeter I learned most jazz standards, the tune and how the chords sounded, not the words. Throughout my time as a trumpet player I was often told to learn the words to truly understand each tune. For some reason I ignored this advice. Now I sing in care homes, with our jamming sessions, I really see the advantage of discovering the story and emotion of each song. I’m also learning jazz standards on the guitar . . . but I’ll report back on that in 20 years.
The opportunity to sing and scat with people living with dementia has opened up a new joyful way of being creative for me. I started to look for other songs that people would enjoy engaging with. It must have been here that I just clicked with Someone To Watch Over Me. What struck me quite quickly was that I was finding the middle eight (the different bit) more of a challenge than normal to learn. Maybe it was this that started my obsession. I looked at the chord sequence, guitar in hand, and it was back in the case before you could say Ella.
I blew the cobwebs out of my trumpet and a different story started to emerge. I had done a little work on my embouchure so I didn’t sound too bad. It felt like I was not only singing through my trumpet but telling a story. I think the reason for my focus on this song is a mix of Ella’s voice, the tune and the fact that our jammers may like it. Oh yeah! my jazz trumpeting had just gained another perspective. How exciting!